Interview with PSV Esports top-laner Benjamin ‘Zhergoth’ Sánchez: ‘I think the Dutch league has a much higher level of play this split and I’m excited to see if we as a league can compete in the EU Masters’

Late last year, League of Legends’ newly formed Dutch and Belgian Leagues shocked the European Regional Leagues (ERL) with their team announcements: football giants PSV Eindhoven and R.S.C. Anderlecht, were going to be participating in the 2020 Dutch and Belgian Spring Splits respectively.

And earlier this month, PSV Esports unveiled their roster, which includes former UKLC players Benjamin ‘Zhergoth’ Sánchez (pictured) and Mike ‘Furuy’ Wils.

Other than his incredibly sexy saxophone dance in the UKLC (eat your heart out Caps), Zhergoth is well known as a talented and experienced top-laner within the ERLs. Here’s is what he had to say to Megalodontus about his time in the UK with Barrage Esports, PSV’s potential and more.

How was your time in Barrage Esports? What are the immediate differences in your opinion with the UKLC and the current Dutch league?

I’d be lying if I said my time in Barrage Esports was a fun one. The staff and members of the team were great people and I wish them all the best, but I think there was far too much conflict during practice to form a cohesive unit. A shame, because I actually think we had good potential as team.

UKLC and the Dutch league are completely different leagues, and I think the average level of play in the Dutch league is lower because of the lack of academy teams.

UKLC has Fnatic Rising and BT Excel, both strong academy teams. In the Dutch league there was only really Defusekids who could be called a good team, in my opinion.

This split I think the Dutch league has a much higher level of play and I’m excited to see if we as a league can compete in the EU Masters (EUM).

“First we have to focus on the Dutch league so we don’t really think about anything like EU Masters yet. So for the Dutch League, I believe either Defusekids or us will go to EU Masters, and I’m confident either team can get out of play-ins.”

What do you think of the format change in the Benelux with them splitting it into two leagues? Do you think it will pay off in the long term?

I’m on the fence about the change. On the one hand the leagues will appeal to individual markets but on the other, splitting the league lowers the level of play in both. I like the idea of two smaller leagues though because it creates a bigger chance to face the same teams more regularly, thus creating more direct competition between the teams.

How did you get in contact with PSV Esports and how does it feel to play in association with one of the biggest football clubs in the Netherlands?

I was approached by the coaching staff of the current team when they were forming a team for PSV Esports. So far, the experience on PSV has been great.

The media event we had with them was a lot of fun and it was a really great experience to explore the stadium and go through your regular esports team experience in a more ‘traditional sports’ kind of way, such as the signing on site and with a handshake.

How is the current atmosphere in the team? Is everything getting along well?

The team atmosphere so far has been great! Normally teams have their rocky periods in the beginning when players get to know each other but so we’ve had a great team atmosphere with no rocky starts at all.

I think our scrims are especially surprising because even if we lose a few games, nobody really gets down and we can figure it out properly as a team.

To be honest, I have high hopes for this line-up.

Zhergoth (far left) and Furuy (middle) have experience in the UK League of Legends scene

Many analysts have said that you guys should be a contender for 1st place, what are your expectations for the upcoming Spring Split?

I think it’s important to be realistic in this case. Whilst being a contender for first place is nice, Defusekids are still a really good team which they showed by winning everything in the region last year.

I do however think they haven’t necessarily upgraded this year. Whilst on paper Goose and Nightmares are really good players, I think they will lack the shotcalling that Kaas brought and they will have to build a new team cohesion again with these changes.

I believe it’s a 50/50 for first place, and I’m really excited to face them in the 3rd week of Dutch league [February 4th, 8pm CET]!

“It was a really great experience to explore the PSV stadium and go through your regular esports team experience in a more ‘traditional sports’ kind of way.”

Is the roster already looking towards the EU Masters? How do you rate the Benelux teams’ chances in 2020?

We’re taking it one step at a time. First we have to focus on the Dutch league so we don’t really think about anything like EUM yet. So for the Dutch League, I believe either DK or us will go to EUM, and I’m confident either team can get out of play-ins.

Both teams are decently strong within Europe and we will likely be underestimated when compared to DACH, France, Spain, UK & Ireland and other Major ERLs.

The Knockout stages will depend entirely on the group draw, because realistically major ERL teams should beat both teams.

As for the Belgian representative, I am fairly certain Sector One will go through to the EUM play-ins. Whilst I believe Sector One to be weaker than both DK and us, I still think they could be a dark horse in the play-in stage with the reasons mentioned previously.

Finally, is there anything else you’d like to say?

I’d ask for your support during our league matches and to please cheer us on every week!

We thank Zhergoth for doing this interview and wish him all the best. The Dutch League begins on February 21st and PSV Esports’ first match is against Team THRLL. You can catch the action live at https://www.twitch.tv/gameluxlol

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